What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

01 October 2010

Get a Filter Installed

One of my favourite things about That 70s Show is that Eric Forman has no filter. And there are two reasons that is funny: 1) Outside of real life, being filter-free is hysterical, and 2) Since I do have a filter, it gives me a measurement of sorts to see how far I've come since I was that age and likewise had no filter. (I wonder if Tofer Grace ever cringed when he saw the lines he had to deliver; goodness knows I would have done.) So I watch it and think, "Shut up, Eric; shut up, Eric, shut up-- Oh, too late."

Yes, I've had a filter installed. I occasionally stop talking before anyone gets offended. I don't swear in Sunday school, call my classmates names while the instructor is talking, or type every last thing that comes to mind on Facebook. (There are those who may not believe this, but trust me, I filter out a LOT of stuff. Probably not enough, but a lot.) For that matter, I don't blog every last thing that comes to mind, either; you only get the stuff that makes sense and, more importantly, doesn't make me sound like I've been sampling recreational substances.

So, what brought this on? A couple of weeks ago, one of my FB friends who is a college lecturer in real life posted a question on FB during class for her friends to answer:  Does your "friends list" (audience) dictate what you write in your facebook status bar? Why?

Most of the responses were "yes", but for a few different reasons. Mine was a "yes", because my filter comes in the shape of a handful of young eyes that I know are watching; if I wouldn't say it with them in the room, then I don't post it on FB. (All evidence to the contrary, I do try to be a good example some of the time.)

Another commenter wrote something to the extent that he doesn't filter anything he says because he wants to be "real". And that annoyed me. I hear "real" and "fake" thrown around, and like most other terms, they don't mean a lot after being so overused.

But I think it is odd to insist that thinking before one speaks (or types) means that one is not being genuine. I assure you, my personality is still intact even if I decide not to angrily retort to a commenter on FB. Rewording my observation of the world to blunt my corrupting influence on the kids I know does not mean I didn't say what I thought (that's the nice thing about words! They are interchangeable!). And choosing not to say something that might offend/hurt someone else is my personal acknowledgment to the universe that I am not, in fact, at its centre, and other people have as much right as myself to go through their day without someone being a jerk to them.

It's not about being "real" or not. It's about common sense. It's about using good judgment. It's about-- heaven forbid-- thinking of someone else's feelings first. 

Because that's why I worked so hard to get my hands on a filter.


Denyce said...

Very well said. I think that is just something that comes with age, and when we are older than we are now, our filters should be even better.

sparquay said...

Where exactly, would you go about purchasing or acquiring one of these filters?

Haha, you know I say whatever. I do hold some back, but sometimes I say what I think needs to be said regardless of whether or not it offends.apan

Su said...

Sigh... I wish I could catch my spelling & usage errors before publishing!

@Denyce: Unless we are really lucky and we turn into those old people whose filters have fallen off again. :)

@Aaron: You must have been standing in the wrong queue when they were handing them out.
You do make a good point; sometimes "what needs to be said" trumps the risk of offence. However, I think there are a lot fewer things that "need" to be said than we often think... and a lot more things that do need to be said that your average person never thinks of. So, the filter isn't perfect.